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One Night at Sortebro

Summertime is no summertime for me without spending some days in Denmark at the places that became familiar to me over the last years.
One of them is Sortebro Kro in Odense, the most magical restaurant I ever have been to. This time we arrived on a late friday evening finding the restaurant almost completely taken. We were seated on a table in the cosy “Hvidstue” next to a window to see the night fall. And then the magic began…
All of the courses we had are worth being written about. One of them made us feel reverently for the components, the smell, the flavours and its appearance. Indeed I never felt such a deep respect for a creation of food as I did in this moment. And my female companion was the same.

“Sommerhave” – Summer Garden

 

 

 

 

The dish “Sommerhave” is made of twelve different vegetables in seven different preparations and seven different kinds of herbs.

There is puree, baked, fried, steamed, marinated and preserved vegetables.

Even for a chef this dish is an awakening: how blind have I been not considering the many ways of preparation? Halleluja!

I can´t even list all of the components in english but I can do it in danish:

  • fennikel og fennikelgrønt
  • røde beder og røde beder blade
  • pastinak
  • hestebønner og bønner
  • blomkål og brokkoli
  • nye løg
  • blegselleri
  • squash
  • peberrod og purløg i saucen
  • røllike og fuglegras
  • blomsterkarse og blomster
  • grønne tomater

It is amazing how rich in taste and flavour a handful of vegetables from the garden can be. This dish is really given to us by nature and I admire the chef Kristian for this signature dish of him. Thank you very much for this delicious experience at Sortebro!

One day I will be able to serve this dish in the restaurant at home as well. It is all in my hands. And a long way to go.

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“Borschtsch” with russian assistance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients: As many vegetables as possible, but we had only:

1 beet root

1/2 white cabbage

3 potatoes

1 carrot

1 leek

a truss of cherry tomatoes

a little piece of celeriac

a slice of beef hock

dill

sour cream

 

Preparation:

Clean the vegetables and cut them all in a nice formate like dices or batonette, blanch the tomatoes and peel them.

Bring a pot of water to the boil with the hock, celeriac, carrot and leek. The meat needs to be cooked tender, that takes about 1,5 hrs.

Take out the meat and cut it into small pieces, add the rest of the vegetables to a pan and fry those. Add all the ingredients to the pot and finish the soup by seasoning with salt and pepper.

Chop the dill and add it at last.

Serve the soup with a spoonful of sour cream.

Especially dill and sour cream give a lot of taste to this dish. It was amazing to try it, I will save the ideas my russian assistant brought up.

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

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Wintertime? – Look at these colors!!!

When I was an apprentice I was blessed being educated by one of the most dedicated chefs I ever met: Chef Griep.

He tought me how to make Thomas Keller´s `buerre monte`, emulsified and creamy butter to prepare food with.

I never forgot about that lesson, instead there was an opportunity to further develop this idea of stable liquid butter: Give it some taste!

It came back to me last week, when one of my best friends and colleges Kristian came down from Denmark to visit me.

This is actually one of Kristian´s signiture dishes: he prepared it only with herbs and vegetables.

We have been to the market that day and bought a couple of different roots. Those of you who follow my blog already know it: I love roots, especially red beet. So we got a yellow beet, a white beet (which had a very rich smell and flavour of sweet soil), a violet carrot and a very sweet round!!! carrot and had potatoes,parsley root and celeriac anyway.

Here is the recipe:

One beet of any kind, a potatoe, one little onion, a piece of celeriac, parsley root and the white of a leek

cut it into presentable and equal pieces

Put it into a pot to steam with some butter and water, add some parsley and chervil stalks, salt and lemon zest.

Steam it on middle heat – by the time the roots are firm to the bite, the water must be evaporated. This is what makes a good chef.

Simultaneously prepare buerre monte: bring two spoonful of water to the boil, add some small pieces of butter and whisk it  until you get an emulsified and creamy consistency. Add some garlic and lemon zest brunoise.

Place the roots on plates of Copenhagen China, pour buerre monte over the vegetables and use fresh plucked chervil, majoram and any other fresh herbs from the garden that you can get to decorate it.

Some Seasalt and freshly grated pepper will do the rest.

Eating this variety of roots made us happy, really happy.

 

Thank you sooo much Kristian

 

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Beans, Pears and Bacon – a traditional one from Hamburg

I am dedicated to food, I love pure flavour and taste. And this dish even surprised me.

Traditionally it is prepared as a stew, all ingrediendts boiled in one pot. So what do you need?

 

For four persons:

  • 300 g smoked bacon
  • one small onion
  • Parsley
  • Tarragon
  • Two handful of beans, long ones
  • small potatoes
  • 4 solid pears, as small as possible
  • “Preißelbeeren”

Use a big pot, bring water to the boil, add chopped onion, parsleystalks and tarragon.

Add bacon and boil it to tenderness in about 20-30 minutes.

After 15 minutes add the pears and boil them together with the bacon.  They will take on the bacons´ smoked flavour. When the bacon is tender, take it out of the pot and add the beans to the boiling water and cook them until they are soft.

Cut the bacon into slices, fry them on both sides in a pan and add picked parsley leaves. Afterwards pour the beans and the pears out of the pot and fry the beans in the pan shortly. Add picked tarragon leaves and serve with one pear for each person. Cut off the pears´bottoms to make them stand on the plate.

 

Season with salt flakes and enjoy this real man´s food.

 

 

 

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Vegetable Lasagne and Red Beet Drink

The most popular market in Hamburg is Isemarkt that takes place two times a week, on tuesdays and fridays. In the middle of its length is a market stall where they sell vegetarian meals only. Quite an exception among the usual offer of sausages and fried fish. But the vegetarian stall is established, who would not recognize the line of waiting customers. Periodically it is the longest on the entire market as I observed carefully.

My standard order is the vegetable lasagne with tomatoe sauce where I use to add two slices of bread to clean the plate with to the very end of the meal. Though they offer a variation of Quiche and soups I never got way further then lasagne. It simply captured me.

They also make a terrific fresh juice. The common mixture contents red beet, which actually is my favourite root, carrots, cellery, apples, ginger and lime juice. When drinking this juice through a straw the ginger flavour in the skum will surprisingly develope its intensity in the throat. This drink reminds me extremely of my childhood. My grandma used to make this juice with an old and powerful juicer. She had apples and beets from her own garden what made this eveb more special. If I only could have one like this right now.

So whenever you can make it, come along this wondeful market and have one  cover like this. Trust me, though you may not be a vegetarian, neither am I.

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Italian Bean Soup

To this meal I was inspired by an Italian friend who lives in Hamburg. I had it one day for lunch at his place and it was just amazing. So I tried it myself.

White beans were soaking for 12 hrs in water. The next day I brought them to the boil with half of the amount of lentils, three bay leaves and three chunks of celery. After 40 minutes the beans and the lentils were almost done, I took out the celery in order to cut it into cubes and added carrots, potatoe in dices and broccoli in small pieces. When all of the vegetables were done I seasoned the soup with salt, pepper and rosemary and added some tomatoe-paste which thickened the soup to the perfect consistency. I finished the soup and it was ready to serve.

As visible in the picture I grated some Parmesan cheese on top of the soup what apparently is common in Italy. I must admit: for a good reason. Some fresh herbs like parsley or majory will do the rest to this dish, as well as a slice of fresh levain-baked bread.

This one was the prototype. Depending on the season I will further develop this meal and let you know.

Stay hungry, or better don´t

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My Mum´s Cake

So this is the cake my mum made for my birthday: just another masterpiece from her wide repertoire.

It is a very fluffy chocolate biscuit filled with delicious chocolate cream topped with a marcipane layer: mmhhh, marcipane. How I love it.

The decoration is written with chocolate as well, it says “Happy Birthday” in German.

My guests were loving this cake, I could save some for today and am looking forward to eat it later.

Thanx Mum for this wonderful delicacy, it sweetened the day.